Abstracts

03.07.2014 Abstracts Comments Off on Comment on “The Current Status of Energy Psychology”: Growing Evidence for Extraordinary Claims

Comment on “The Current Status of Energy Psychology”: Growing Evidence for Extraordinary Claims

David Feinstein

Abstract: In “The Current Status of Energy Psychology: Extraordinary Claims with Less than Ordinary Evidence,” Bakker (2013) maintains that energy psychology rests on “an unsupported and implausible theoretical basis” (p. 1).

He further asserts that attempts to establish empirical support for the efficacy of energy psychology have “not been able to demonstrate an effect beyond non-specific or placebo effects, or the incorporation of known effective elements” (p. 1).

This rejoinder will demonstrate that Bakker’s selection and reporting skews his data toward these assertions and that a more balanced review would conclude that

a) scientific support for the efficacy of energy psychology is accumulating;

b) initial fndings suggest, in fact, that the method is surprisingly rapid and effective; and

c) plausible mechanisms for the documented positive outcomes are consistent with established psychological principles and have been described in the literature.

Keywords: amygdala, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), energy psychology, memory reconsolidation, Thought Field Therapy (TFT)

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03.07.2014 Abstracts Comments Off on Critical Thinking in the Energy Therapies: Comments on Gaudiano et al. (2012)

Critical Thinking in the Energy Therapies: Comments on Gaudiano et al. (2012)

/EPJ.2014.6.1.MS.EL.PKS.AT

Mary Sise, Eric Leskowitz, Phyllis K. Stein, Anthony Tranguch

Abstract: Gaudiano, Brown, and Miller (2012) report that of 149 licensed psychotherapists who respond-ed to an Internet-based survey, 42.3% said that they frequently use or are inclined to use Energy Meridian Techniques (EMTs). Gaudiano et al. portray EMTs as lacking an empirical basis and displaying multiple characteristics of pseudoscience.

They conclude that EMT therapists may be characterized as relying on intuition in decision-making, holding erroneous health beliefs, and showing lower scores on a test of critical thinking. This reply by clinicians who use EMTs demonstrates that, contrary to the claims of Gaudiano et al., there is a substantial body of research supporting the ef?cacy of EMTs, that theories underlying EMTs have an empirical basis, and that an af?nity toward EMTs is not incompatible with critical thinking abilities.

Keywords: energy psychology, critical thinking, evidence-based practice, Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques

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03.07.2014 Abstracts Comments Off on Deconstructing the 6 Anti-Scientic Strategies for Denying a Highly Effective Therapy

Deconstructing the 6 Anti-Scientic Strategies for Denying a Highly Effective Therapy

/EPJ.2014.6.1.RS

Robert Schwarz

Abstract: This editorial describes a pattern of six basic interlocking and antiscientic strategies of dis-course used by writers and editors who are deeply biased against energy psychology despite evidence in favor of its efficacy. These strategies attempt to obscure their positions under a patina of objective evaluation.

The level of distortion has reached new heights in the recent publication of two highly biased and inflammatory articles (Gaudiano, Brown, & Miller, 2012; Bakker, 2013) followed by the refusal of the editors of each journal to publish responses written by well-qualied experts in the field.

In this way, antagonistic assessments of the energy psychology held are presented as objective reviews, while scientific discourse is stifled. The goal of this editorial is to cast light on this process of distortion, so that clinicians, consumers and policy-makers can better evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of energy psychology.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts Comments Off on Working With Military Service Members and Veterans: A Field Report of Obstacles and Opportunities

Working With Military Service Members and Veterans: A Field Report of Obstacles and Opportunities

doi: 10.9769/EPJ.2009.1.1.ID

By Ingrid Dinter

Abstract

The first few moments of an encounter with a veteran may be crucial in establishing a therapeutic alliance. A posture of respect and acknowledgment of their service provides a good start.

Political observations should be avoided.

Many service members identify with the archetypal warrior, laying down their lives to protect others and have a sense of betrayal that their purpose has been interrupted. They are often reluctant to talk about their experiences, or engage with a mental health practitioner, because of similar past experiences that did not bring relief.

EFT is useful in this context because it can be used without the veteran describing the emotionally triggering event. Veterans may experience these as real, present-time events, not as memories distant in time.

Service members may also be afraid that their mental health symptoms may make them appear weak to their comrades and superiors, potentially damaging their careers. Symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares often occur when healthcare providers are unavailable, and a portable self-help method like EFT is useful at such times.

EFT also provides a coping technique to families of service providers and improves resilience. Successful implementation in a military culture requires sensitivity to these issues.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts 3 Comments

Change Is Possible: EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) with Life-Sentence and Veteran Prisoners at San Quentin State Prison

doi: 10.9769.EPJ.2009.1.1.HL

By Hari Lubin & Tiffany Schneider

Abstract

Counseling with prisoners presents unique challenges and opportunities. For the past seven years, a project called ?Change Is Possible? has offered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) counseling to life sentence and war veteran inmates through the education department of San Quentin State Prison in California.

Prisoners receive a series of five sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) from an EFT practitioner, with a three session supplement one month later. Emotionally-triggering events, and the degree of intensity associated with them, are self-identified before and after EFT.

Underlying core beliefs and values are also identified. In this report, the EFT protocol and considerations specific to this population are discussed.

Prisoner statements are included, to reveal self-reported changes in their impulse control, intensity of reaction to triggers, somatic symptomatology, sense of personal responsibility, and positive engagement in the prison community.

Future research is outlined, including working within the requirements specific to a prison population in a manner that permits the collection of empirical data.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts Comments Off on Energy Psychology Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress in Genocide Survivors in a Rwandan Orphanage: A Pilot Investigation

Energy Psychology Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress in Genocide Survivors in a Rwandan Orphanage: A Pilot Investigation

doi: 10.9769/EPJ.2009.1.1.BS

By Barbara Stone, Lori Leyden, & Bert Fellows

Abstract

A team of four energy therapy practitioners visited Rwanda in September of 2009 to conduct trauma remediation programs with orphan genocide survivors with complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The program consisted of holistic, multi-dimensional rapport-building exercises, followed by an intervention using Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Interventions were performed on three consecutive days.

Data were collected using the Child Report of Posttraumatic Stress (CROPS) to measure pre- and post-intervention results, using a time-series, repeated measures design. N = 48 orphans at the Remera Mbogo Residential High School Orphanage with clinical PTSD scores completed a pretest.

Of these, 34 (71%) completed a posttest assessment. They demonstrated an average reduction in symptoms of 18.8% (p < .001). Seven students (21%) dropped below the clinical cutoff point for PTSD, with average score reductions of 53.7% (p < .001).

Follow-ups are planned, to determine if participant gains hold over time. Directions for future research arising out of data gathered in this pilot study are discussed.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts Comments Off on Energy Psychology in Rehabilitation: Origins, Clinical Applications, and Theory

Energy Psychology in Rehabilitation: Origins, Clinical Applications, and Theory

doi: 10.9769/EPJ.2009.1.1.FPGEnergy Psychology in Rehabilitation: Origins, Clinical Applications, and Theory

By Fred P. Gallo

Abstract

Three forces have dominated psychology and psychological treatment at different times since the early 1900s.

The first force was Freudian psychoanalysis and its offshoots that focus on unconscious psychodynamics and developmental fixations, with principal therapeutic techniques including free association, dream analysis, interpretation, and abreaction.

Second came behaviorism, spearheaded by Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner, which emphasized environmental stimuli and conditioning?its techniques including respondent and operant conditioning, exposure, desensitization, schedules of reinforcement, modeling, and more.

The third force involved humanistic and transpersonal approaches that attend to values and choice, including client-centered therapy, gestalt therapy, phenomenology, and cognitive therapy, some of the principal leaders being Rogers, Maslow, Perls, Rollo May, Binswanger, and Ellis.

Recently the new paradigm of energy psychology has emerged, which may be considered psychology?s fourth force. The earliest pioneers included Goodheart, Diamond, and Callahan. This theoretical and practice approach offers the field some unique findings, as it views psychological problems as body?mind interactions and bioenergy fields, providing treatments that directly and efficiently address these substrates.

Some of energy psychology?s techniques include stimulating acupoints and chakras, specific body postures, affirmations, imagery, manual muscle testing, and an emphasis on intention.

This review covers energy psychology?s historical development and experimental evidence base. Case illustrations and treatment protocols are discussed for the treatment of psychological trauma and physical pain, two of the most important and ubiquitous aspects common to rehabilitation conditions.

Additionally, the research on energy psychology is highlighted, and the distinction between global treatments and causal energy diagnostic-treatment approaches to treatment is addressed.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts Comments Off on Controversies in Energy Psychology

Controversies in Energy Psychology

doi: 10.9769.EPJ.2009.1.1.DF

By David Feinstein

Abstract

In the nearly three decades since tapping on acupuncture points was introduced as a method psychotherapists could use in the treatment of anxiety disorders and other emotional concerns, more than 30 variations of the approach have emerged.

Collectively referred to as energy psychology (EP), reports of unusual speed, range, and durability of clinical outcomes have been provocative.

Enthusiasts believe EP to be a major breakthrough while skeptics believe the claims are improbable and certainly have not been substantiated with ad- equate data or explanatory models. Additional controversies exist among EP practitioners.

This paper addresses the field?s credibility problems among mental health professionals as well as controversies within EP regarding (a) its most viable explanatory models, (b) its most effective protocols, (c) how the approach interfaces with other forms of clinical practice, (d) the conditions it can treat effectively, (e) what should be done when the method does not seem to work, and (f) how the professional community should respond to the large number of practitioners who do not have mental health credentials.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts 1 Comment

The Neurochemistry of Counterconditioning: Acupressure Desensitization in Psychotherapy

doi: 10.9769.EPJ.2009.1.1.JRLThe-Neurochemistry-of-Counterconditioning-lane

By James R. Lane

Abstract

A growing body of literature indicates that imaginal exposure, paired with acupressure, reduces mid-brain hyperarousal and counter-conditions anxiety and traumatic memories.

Exposure therapies that elicit the midbrain’s anxiety reflex and then replace it with a relaxation response are said to ?reciprocally inhibit? anxiety. More recent research indicates that manual stimulation of acupuncture points produces opioids, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and regulates cortisol.

These neurochemical changes reduce pain, slow the heart rate, decrease anxiety, shut off the FFF response, regulate the autonomic nervous system, and create a sense of calm. This relaxation response reciprocally inhibits anxiety and creates a rapid desensitization to traumatic stimuli.

This paper explores the neurochemistry of the types of acupressure counter-conditioning used in energy psychology and provides explanations for the mechanisms of actions of these therapies, based upon currently accepted paradigms of brain function, behavioral psychology, and biochemistry.

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03.12.2009 Abstracts 1 Comment

The Effect of Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Emotional Freedom Techniques on Test Anxiety in High School Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

doi: 10.9769.EPJ.2009.1.1.NS

By Nilhan Sezgin & Bahar Ozcan

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR) on test anxiety. A group of 312 high school students enrolled at a private academy were evaluated using the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI), which contains Worry and Emotionality subscales.

Scores for 70 students demonstrated high levels of test anxiety; these students were randomized into control and experimental groups. During a single treatment session, the control group received instruction in PMR and the experimental group in EFT, which was followed by self-treatment at home.

After 2 months, subjects were retested using the TAI. Repeated covariance analysis was performed to determine the effects of EFT and PMR on the mean TAI score, as well as the 2 subscale scores. Each group completed a sample examination at the beginning and end of the study, and their mean scores were computed. Thirty-two of the initial 70 subjects completed all the study’s requirements, and all statistical analyses were done on this group.

A statistically significant decrease occurred in the test anxiety scores of both the experimental and control groups. The EFT group had a significantly greater decrease than the PMR group (p < .05). The scores of the EFT group were lower on the Emotionality and Worry subscales (p < .05). Both groups scored higher on the test examinations after treatment. Although the improvement was greater for the EFT group, the difference was not statistically significant.

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